The Rights I Was Given : Caalaa Hayiluu -Oromia
I was told I am under oppression and want to be freed,
I sacrificed myself, properties, my children and family to get freedom
After my sacrifices, I was told, I had granted back my rights
I was told my natural and democratic rights have been enshrined in the constitution.
I should be free and have right to live without free
I should have the rights to write and express myself freely,
And the right to have privacy, but cannot exercise them
The rights to practice my religion,
and political opinion
The right to own properties, business, and my own ancestral lands
I have been told, the constitution was beautiful and perfect
Because of this law, I should be protected
I should be protected of injustice
I should be protected of illegal grabbing of my land.
I should be protected of unlawful imprisonment,
Extra-judiciary killing of my friends, my people, and family
I should be protected to own this constitution
Because it is a supreme law and a mother of all laws, as it has been told
And it shall entitle me all the rights I would exercise
Without limitation and jeopardizing others right by this constitution.
I supposed, my constitution should guarantee me,
to have a fair government that can represent me
A government that protects the constitution and its people
A government that should be elected by the will of its own people
A government that is free and elected through free, fair and democratic process
A government who has been chosen by the people of the people
Not as the time of kingdom and monarchy.
This the government I accept and obey,
This the one our real farmers, the civil servants would accept with good faith.
I was harassed and unfairly treated for so long
I was not able to understand the discourse and kept quiet
My children refused this manipulation, injustice and political discourse
Demanding for their rights, freedom, and equality peacefully
While following the rule of law and what they were ordered to do.
Then I was told I have been given back my ancestral land
The land I was told to share with the government
A government who were not elected by me and worked for me
A government who took away my right to choose my own choice of government
The government who was bestowed the power to rule me, but not to serve me
The government who forced me to consent, for the ideas that I never willingly agree.
The government who put the Constitution only on the paper
The government who does not respect its own constitution
The government who breaks its own rule of law and my rights
The constitution that forced me to relocate or become homeless from my ancestral land
The property passed from generation to generation of my tribes
The land I am naturally entitled to.
I was told the land grabbing was to my benefit
The land grabbing I was promised for fair compensation
The land grabbing that would help me to become productive
The land grabbing that will cherish me and give me a hand to live prosperous life
I was told this land grabbing was per our written constitution
The constitution that broke its own rule and took my land away
The colorful and beautiful law that broke its own promise again and again
The constitution which we should work together to overcome
We should overcome this narrow-minded government
For the sake of ourselves and our children and children’s of our children’s benefit.
I was told, again and again; the investors who grabbed my lands
Would give me and create many job opportunities
And I could become a middle-class income person.
I was even told, I could run my own business,
While I was left without home and nothing
After the investors took my land,
I became the guardsman/servant of a beautiful house
Which was built by the investors on my lands
And my children left homeless and forced to live in the street and became beggars.
Before my lands taken from me, I was a good farmer
I was a hard worker who could feed my children and live a happy life with my family
Now my fate is only being beggar and rights less, who cannot be heard by anyone?
I ask if the constitution I was given may defend me,
But it is silent and can’t speak for me.
I asked the government I was told, a protector and my representative
If he could speak up on behalf me,
But I was rather silenced and taken to jail
It was me who was expelled and evicted from my ancestral land,
And it was me who persecuted for I asked the rights I was given.
It was me who is criminal for asking my given rights they told me
If I am homeless, no jobs, no education for my children,
No any prosperous they were telling me, and I wished,
Then I am asking them, what are the rights I was given?
To the memory of the ‘Ethiopian’ Farmers who have been forced to leave, evicted and removed from their ancestral lands and left homeless.